Connecting through Common Values
Jeremy Freedman wants Queen’s to know more about Israel. And Israel to know more about Queen’s – and Canada. That’s the impulse behind his recent donation, underwriting a three-year joint endeavour between Queen’s Faculty of Law and the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University.
The gift, from the Jeremy and Judith Freedman Family Foundation, will subsidize a number of initiatives. A faculty member from Queen’s will be invited to teach a short, intensive course at Tel Aviv University, and a faculty member from Tel Aviv will be given a similar opportunity at Queen’s.
Freedman’s generous donation will also underwrite an annual Bora Laskin Lecture, to be given by the visiting Tel Aviv faculty member, or another prominent Israeli scholar, and open to the broader Kingston community.
In its third year, Freedman’s donation will underwrite a conference, "Constitutional Culture – Israel and Canada," which builds on Queen’s and Tel Aviv’s particular strengths in the areas of public and comparative law.
"Maybe it was the current Initiative Campaign," says Freedman of his inspiration for giving, "but I had been thinking about this for some time. I wanted to do something with Queen's, and something related to Israel and Jewish causes. In talking to the dean, I said: 'Think outside the box. What would be helpful?' This is what came forward."
"One of the things I wanted to do through this program was educate the Queen’s community about the similarities between Canada and Israel," says Freedman.
"Israel subscribes to the same values we do – freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, equality of rights, and democratic elections – these are fundamental principles that we share.
"I thought that some kind of exchange and education program that would compare and contrast our two systems would be helpful to both countries."